Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary



COMPARTED, pp. Dividing or disposing into parts.

COMPARTING, ppr. Dividing or disposing into parts.


1. The act of dividing into parts. In architecture, the division or disposition of the whole ground-plot of an edifice, into its various apartments.

2. Division; part divided; a separate part; as, amphitheaters needed no compartitions.


1. A division or separate part of a general design, as of a picture, or of a ground-plot.

2. A design composed of several different figures, disposed with symmetry, for ornament; as a compartment of tiles or bricks, duly arranged, of various colors and varnished, to decorate a building. In gardening, compartments are assemblages of beds, plots, borders, walks, etc. In heraldry, a compartment is called also a partition.

COMPARTNER, n. A sharer.


1. Stretch; reach; extent; the limit or boundary of a space, and the space included; applied to time, space, sound, etc. Our knowledge lies within a very narrow compass. The universe extends beyond the compass of our thoughts. So we say, the compass of a year, the compass of an empire, the compass of reason, the compass of the voice.

And in that compass all the world contains.

2. A passing round; a circular course; a circuit.

Time is come round;

and where I did begin, thee shall I end:

My life has run its compass.

They fetched a compass of seven days journey. 2 Kings 3:9; 2 Samuel 5:23; Acts 28:13.

3. Moderate bounds; limits of truth; moderation; due limits.

In two hundred years, (I speak within compass,) no such commission had been executed.

This sense is the same as the first, and the peculiar force of the phrase lies in the word within.

4. The extent or limit of the voice or of sound.

5. An instrument for directing or ascertaining the course of ships at sea, consisting of a circular box, containing a paper card marked with the thirty two points of direction, fixed on a magnetic needle, that always points to the north, the variation excepted. The needle with the card turns on a pin in the center of the box. In the center of the needle is fixed a brass conical socket or cap, by which the card hanging on the pin turns freely round the center. The box is covered with glass, to prevent the motion of the card from being disturbed by the wind.

6. Compass or compasses, [or a pair of compasses, so named from its legs, but pair is superfluous or improper, and the singular number compass is the preferable name,] an instrument for describing circles, measuring figures, etc., consisting of two pointed legs or branches, made of iron, steel or brass, joined at the top by a rivet, on which they move. There are also compasses of three legs or triangular compasses, cylindrical and spherical compasses with four branches, and various other kinds.

7. An instrument used in surveying land, constructed in the main like the mariners compass; but with this difference, that the needle is not fitted into the card, moving with it, but plays alone; the card being drawn on the bottom of the box, and a circle divided into 360 degrees on the limb. This instrument is used in surveying land, and in directing travelers in a desert or forest, miners, etc.

Compass-saw, a saw with a brad edge and thin back, to cut in a circular form.


1. To stretch round; to extend so as to embrace the whole; hence, to inclose, encircle, grasp or seize; as, to compass with the arms.

2. To surround; to environ; to inclose on all sides; sometimes followed by around, round or about.

Now all the blessings of a glad father compass thee about.

With favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield. Psalm 5:12.

The willows of the brook compass him about. Job 40:22.

3. To go or walk round.

Ye shall compass the city--and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times. Joshua 6:3, 4.

For ye compass sea and land. Matthew 23:15.

4. To besiege; to beleaguer; to block up. This is not a different sense, but a particular application.

Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side. Luke 19:43.

5. To obtain; to attain to; to procure; to bring within ones power; to accomplish.

If I can check my erring love, I will;

If not, to compass her Ill use my skill.

How can you hope to compass your designs?

6. To purpose; to intend; to imagine; to plot; to contrive; as we say, to go about to perform, but in mind only; as, to compass the death of the king.

Compassing and imaging the death of the king are synonymous terms; compass signifying the purpose or design of the mind or will, and not, as in common speech, the carrying such design to effect.

COMPASSED, pp. Embraced; surrounded; inclosed; obtained; imagined.


1. Embracing; going round; inclosing; obtaining; accomplishing; imagining; intending.

2. In ship-building, incurvated; arched.


1. A suffering with another; painful sympathy; a sensation of sorrow excited by the distress or misfortunes of another; pity; commiseration. Compassion is a mixed passion, compounded of love and sorrow; at least some portion of love generally attends the pain or regret, or is excited by it. Extreme distress of an enemy even changes enmity into at least temporary affection.

He being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity. Psalm 78:38.

His father had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. Luke 15:20.

COMPASSION, v.t. To pity.

COMPASSIONABLE, a. Deserving of pity.

COMPASSIONATE, a. Having a temper or disposition to pity; inclined to show mercy; merciful; having a heart that is tender, and easily moved by the distresses, sufferings, wants and infirmities of others.

There never was a heart truly great and generous, that was not also tender and compassionate.

COMPASSIONATE, v.t. To pity; to commiserate; to have compassion for.

Compassionates my pains and pities me.

COMPASSIONATELY, adv. With compassion; mercifully.

COMPASSIONATENESS, n. The quality of being compassionate.

COMPATERNITY, n. [con and paternity.] The relation of a godfather to the person for whom he answers.

COMPATIBILITY, n. [See Compatible.] Consistency; the quality or power of coexisting with something else; suitableness; as a compatibility of tempers.


1. Consistent; that may exist with; suitable; not incongruous; agreeable; followed by with; sometimes by to, but less properly.

The poets have joined qualities which by nature are the most compatible.

The office of a legislator and of a judge are deemed not compatible.

To pardon offenders is not always compatible with public safety.

COMPATIBLENESS, n. Consistency; fitness; agreement; the same as compatibility, which is generally used.

COMPATIBLY, adv. Fitly; suitably; consistently.

COMPATIENT, a. Suffering together.

COMPATRIOT, n. A fellow patriot; one of the same country.

COMPATRIOT, a. Of the same country.

COMPEER, n. An equal; a companion; an associate; a mate.

COMPEER, v.t. To equal; to match; to be equal with.

COMPEL, v.t.

1. To drive or urge with force, or irresistibly; to constrain; to oblige; to necessitate, either by physical or moral force.

Thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bound servant. Leviticus 25:39.

And they compel one Simon--to bear his cross. Mark 15:21.

Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. Luke 14:23.

Circumstances compel us to practice economy.

2. To force; to take by force, or violence; to seize.

The subjects grief comes through commissions, which compel from each a sixth part of his substance.

3. To drive together; to gather; to unite in a crowd or company. A Latinism, compellere gregem.

In one troop compelled.

4. To seize; to overpower; to hold.

And easy sleep their weary limbs compelled.

5. To call forth, L. compeller.

COMPELLABLE, a. That may be driven, forced or constrained.

COMPELLABLY, adv. By compulsion.

COMPELLATION, n. Style or manner of address; the word of salutation.

The compellation of the Kings of France is by sire.

COMPELLED, pp. Forced; constrained; obliged.

COMPELLER, n. One who compels or constrains.

COMPELLING, ppr. Driving by force; constraining; obliging.

COMPEND, COMPENDIUM, n. In literature, an abridgment; a summary; an epitome; a brief compilation or composition, containing the principal heads, or general principles, of a larger work or system.

COMPENDIARIOUS, a. Short; contracted.

COMPENDIATE, v.t. To sum or collect together.


1. Short; summary; abridged; comprehensive; containing the substance or general principles of a subject or work in a narrow compas; as a compendious system of chimistry; a compendious grammar.

2. Short; direct; near; not circuitous; as a compendious way to acquire science.

COMPENDIOUSLY, adv. In a short or brief; in epitome.

The substance of christian belief is compendiously expressed in a few articles.

COMPENDIOUSNESS, n. Shortness; brevity; comprehension in a narrow compass.

COMPENSABLE, a. [See Compensate.] That may be compensated.


1. To give equal value to; to recompense; to give an equivalent for services, or an amount lost or bestowed; to return or bestow that which makes good a loss, or is estimated a sufficient remuneration; as, to compensate a laborer for his work, or a merchant for his losses.

2. To be equivalent in value or effect to; to counterbalance; to make amends for.

The length of the night and the dews do compensate the heat of the day.

The pleasures of sin never compensate the sinner for the miseries he suffers, even in this life.

COMPENSATE, v.i. To make amends; to supply an equivalent; followed by for.

Nothing can compensate for the loss of reputation.

This word is generally accented on the second syllable, most unfortunately, as any ear will determine by the feebleness of the last syllables n the participles, compensated, compensating.

Each seeming want compensated of course.

With the primary accent on the first syllable and the secondary accent on the third, this defect and the difficulty of uttering distinctly the last syllables are remedied.

COMPENSATED, pp. Recompensed; supplied with an equivalent in amount or effect; rewarded.

COMPENSATING, ppr. Giving an equivalent; recompensing; remunerating.


1. That which is given or received as an equivalent for services, debt, want, loss, or suffering; amends; remuneration; recompense.

All other debts may compensation find.

The pleasures of life are no compensation for the loss of divine favor and protection.

2. In law, a set-off; the payment of a debt by a credit of equal amount.

COMPENSATIVE, a. Making amends or compensation.

COMPENSATORY, a. Serving for compensation; making amends.

COMPENSE, v.t. To recompense, is found in Bacon; but is not now in use.


1. To seek, or strive for the same thing as another; to carry on competition or rivalry.

Our manufacturers compete with the English in making cotton cloths.

2. To strive or claim to be equal.

The sages of antiquity will not dare to compete with the inspired authors.


1. Sufficiency; such a quantity as is sufficient; property or means of subsistence sufficient to furnish the necessaries and conveniences of life, without superfluity.

Reasons whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,

Lie in three words, health, peace, and competence.

2. Sufficiency, applied to other things than property; but this application is less common.

3. Legal capacity or qualifications; fitness; as the competence of a witness, which consists in his having the qualifications required by law, as age, soundness of mind, impartiality, etc.

4. Right or authority; legal power or capacity to take cognizance of a cause; as the competence of a judge or court to examine and decide.

5. Fitness; adequacy; suitableness; legal sufficiency; as the competency of evidence.


1. Suitable; fit; convenient; hence, sufficient, that is, fit for the purpose; adequate; followed by to; as, competent supplies of food and clothing; a competent force; an army conpetent to the preservation of the kingdom or state; a competent knowledge of the world. This word usually implies a moderate supply, a sufficiency without superfluity.

2. Qualified; fit; having legal capacity or power; as a competent judge or court; a competent witness. In a judge or court, it implies right or authority to hear and determine; in a witness, it implies a legal right or capacity to testify.

3. Incident; belonging; having adequate power or right.

That is the privilege of the infinite author of things, who never slumbers nor sleeps, but is not competent to any finite being.

It is not competent to the defendant to alledge fraud in the plaintiff.

COMPETENTLY, adv. Sufficiently; adequately; suitably; reasonably; as, the fact has been competently proved; a church is competently endowed.

COMPETIBLE, a. [Not now used. See Compatible.]

COMPETING, ppr. Striving in rivalry.


1. The act of seeking, or endeavoring to gain, what another is endeavoring to gain, at the same time; rivalry; mutual strife for the same object; also, strife for superiority; as the competition of two candidates for an office, or of two poets for superior reputation.

2. A state of rivalship; a state of having equal claims.

A portrait, with which one of Titians could not come in competition.

3. Double claim; claim of more than one to the same thing; formerly with to, now with for.

Competition to the crown there is none nor can be.

There is no competition but for the second place.


1. One who seeks and endeavors to obtain what another seeks; or one who claims what another claims; a rival.

They cannot brook competitors in love.

2. An opponent.

COMPETITORY, a. Rivaling; acting in competition.



1. A collection of certain parts of a book or books, into a separate book or pamphlet.

2. A collection or assemblage of other substances; or the act of collecting and forming an aggregate.

COMPILATOR, n. A collector.


1. To collect parts or passages of books or writings into a book or pamphlet; to select and put together parts of an author, or to collect parts of different authors; or to collect and arrange separate papers, laws, or customs, in a book, code or system.

2. To write; to compose.

In poetry, thy compile the praises o virtuous men and actions.

3. To contain; to comprise.

4. To make up; to compose.

5. To put together; to build.

COMPILED, pp. Collected from authors; selected and put together.

COMPILEMENT, n. The act of piling together or heaping; coacervation.

COMPILER, n. A collector of parts of authors, or of separate papers or accounts; one who forms a book or composition from various authors or separate papers.

COMPILING, ppr. Collecting and arranging parts of books, or separate papers, in a body or composition.


1. Pleasure; satisfaction; gratification. It is more than approbation, and less than delight or joy.

Other proclaim the infirmities of a great man with satisfaction and complacency, if they discover none of the like in themselves.

2. The cause of pleasure or joy.

3. Complaisance; civility; softness of manners; deportment and address that afford pleasure.

Complacency, and truth, and manly sweetness,

Dwell ever on his tongue, and smooth his thoughts.

In the latter sense, complaisance, from the French, is now used. [See Complaisance.]

COMPLACENT, a. Civil; complaisant.

They look up with a sort of complacent awe to kings.

COMPLACENTIAL, a. Marked by complacence; accommodating.

COMPLACENTLY, adv. Softly; in a complacent manner.


1. To utter expressions of grief; to lament.

I will complain in the bitterness of my spirit. Job 7:11.

I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed. Psalm 77:3.

2. To utter expressions of censure or resentment; to murmur; to find fault.

And when the people complained, it displeased the Lord. Numbers 11:1.

3. To utter expressions of uneasiness, or pain. He complains of thirst. He complains of a head-ache.

4. To charge; to accuse of an offense; to present an accusation against a person to a proper officer.

To A B, one of the justices of the peace for the county of S, complains C D.

This verb is regularly followed by of, before the cause of grief or censure; as, to complain of thirst, of ignorance, of vice, of an offender.

5. To represent injuries, particularly in a writ of Audita Querela.

COMPLAIN, v.t. To lament; to bewail.

They might the grievance inwardly complain.

This use of complain is uncommon, and hardly legitimate. The phrase is properly elliptical.

COMPLAINABLE, a. That may be complained of.


1. A prosecutor; one who prosecutes by complaint, or commences a legal process against an offender for the recovery of a right or penalty.

He shall forfeit one moiety to the use of the town; and the other moiety to the use of the complainant.

2. The plaintiff in a writ of Audita Querela.

COMPLAINER, n. One who complains, or expresses grief; one who laments; one who finds fault; a murmurer.

These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts. Jude 16.

COMPLAINFUL, a. Full of complaint.

COMPLAINING, ppr. Expressing grief, sorrow, or censure; finding fault; murmuring; lamenting; accusing of an offense.

COMPLAINING, n. The expression of regret, sorrow, or injury.


1. Expression of grief, regret, pain, censure, or resentment; lamentation; murmuring; a finding fault.

Even to day is my complaint bitter. Job 23:2.

2. The cause or subject of complaint, or murmuring.

The poverty of the clergy hath been the complaint of all who wish well to the church.

3. The cause of complaint, or of pain and uneasiness in the body; a malady; a disease; usually applied to disorders not violent; as a complaint in the bowels or breast.

4. Accusation; a charge against an offender, made by a private person or informer to a justice of the peace or other proper officer, alleging that the offender has violated the law, and claiming the penalty due to the prosecutor. It differs from an information, which is the prosecution of an offender by the Attorney or Solicitor General; and from a presentment and indictment, which are the accusation of a Grand Jury.

5. Representation of injuries, in a general sense; and appropriately, in a writ of Audita Querela.


1. A pleasing deportment; courtesy; that manner of address and behavior in social intercourse which gives pleasure; civility; obliging condescension; kind and affable reception and treatment of guests; exterior acts of civility; as, the gentleman received us with complaisance.

2. Condescension; obliging compliance with the wishes or humors of others.

In complaisance poor Cupid mourned.

3. Desire of pleasing; disposition to oblige; the principle for the act.

Your complaisance will not permit your guests to be incommoded.

COMPLAISANT, a. complazant. Pleasing in manners; courteous; obliging; desirous to please; as a complaisant gentleman.

2. Civil; courteous; polite; as complaisant deportment or treatment.

COMPLAISANTLY, adv. complazantly. In a pleasing manner; with civility; with an obliging, affable address or deportment.

COMPLAISANTNESS, n. Civility; complaisance.

COMPLANATE, COMPLANE, v.t. [See Plane and Plain.] to make level; to reduce to an even surface.


1. Fulness; completion; whence, perfection.

They as they feasted had their fill,

For a full complement of all their ill.

2. Full quantity or number; the quantity or number limited; as, a company has its complement of men; a ship has its complement of stores.

3. That which is added, not as necessary, but as ornamental; something adventitious to the main thing; ceremony. [See Compliment.]

Garnished and decked in modest complement.

4. In geometry, what remains of the quadrant of a circle, or of ninety degrees, after any arch has been taken from it. Thus if the arch taken is thirty degrees, its complement is sixty.

5. In astronomy, the distance of a star from the zenith.

6. Arithmetical complement of a logarithm, is what the logarithm wants of 10,000,000.

7. In fortification, the complement of the curtain is that part in the interior side which makes the demigorge.

COMPLEMENTAL, a. Filling; supplying a deficiency; completing.

COMPLEMENTARY, n. One skilled in compliments.


1. Having no deficiency; perfect.

And ye are complete in him who is the head of all principality and power. Colossians 2:10.

2. Finished; ended; concluded; as, the edifice is complete.

This course of vanity almost complete.

In strict propriety, this word admits of no comparison; for that which is complete, cannot be more or less so. But as the word, like many others, is used with some indefiniteness of signification, it is customary to qualify it with more, most, less and least. More complete, most complete, less complete, are common expressions.

3. In botany, a complete flower is one furnished with a calyx and corolla. Vaillant. Or having all the parts of a flower.


1. To finish; to end; to perfect; as, to complete a bridge, or an edifice; to complete an education.

2. To fill to accomplish; as, to complete hopes or desires.

3. To fulfil; to accomplish; to perform; as, the prophecy of Daniel is completed.

COMPLETED, pp. Finished; ended; perfected fulfilled; accomplished.

COMPLETELY, adv. Fully; perfectly; entirely.

COMPLETEMENT, n. The act of completing; a finishing.

COMPLETENESS, n. The state of being complete; perfection.

COMPLETING, ppr. Finishing; perfecting; accomplishing.


1. Fulfilment; accomplishment.

There was a full entire harmony and consent in the divine predictions, receiving their completion in Christ.

2. Act of completing; state of being complete; utmost extent; perfect state; as, the gentleman went to the university for the completion of his education or studies.

The completion of a bad character is to hate a good man.

COMPLETIVE, a. Filling; making complete.

COMPLETORY, a. Fulfilling; accomplishing.

COMPLETORY, n. The evening service; the complin of the Romish church.


1. Composed of two or more parts or things; composite; not simple; including two or more particulars connected; as a complex being; a complex idea; a complex term.

Ideas made up of several simple ones, I call complex; such as beauty, gratitude, a man, the universe.

2. Involved; difficult; as a complex subject.

COMPLEX, n. Assemblage; collection; complication.

This parable of the wedding supper comprehends in it the whole complex of all the blessings and privileges of the gospel.

COMPLEXEDNESS, n. Complication; involution of parts in one integral; compound state; as the complexedness moral ideas.


1. Involution; a complex state.

2. The color of the skin, particularly of the face; the color of the external parts of a body or thing; as a fair complexion; a dark complexion; the complexion of the sky.

3. The temperament, habitude, or natural disposition of the body; the peculiar cast of the constitution, which gives it a particular physical character; a medical term, but used to denote character, or description; as, men of this or that complexion.

Tis ill, Though different your complexions are,

The family of heaven for men should war.

COMPLEXIONAL, a. Depending on or pertaining to complexion; as complexional efflorescencies; complexional prejudices.

COMPLEXIONALLY, adv. By complexion.

COMPLEXIONARY, a. Pertaining to the complexion, or to the care of it.

COMPLEXIONED, a. Having a certain temperament or state.

COMPLEXITY, n. The state of being complex; complexness.

COMPLEXITY, adv. In a complex manner; not simply.

COMPLEXNESS, n. The state of being complex or involved.

COMPLEXURE, n. The involution or complication of one thing with others.

COMPLIABLE, a. [See Comply.] that can bend or yield.

COMPLIANCE, n. [See Comply.]

1. The act of complying; a yielding, as to a request, wish, desire, demand or proposal; concession; submission.

Let the king meet compliance in your looks,

A free and ready yielding to his wishes.

2. A disposition to yield to others.

He was man of few words and great compliance.

3. Obedience; followed by with; as compliance with a command, or precept.

4. Performance; execution; as a compliance with the conditions of a contract.


1. Yielding, bending; as the compliant boughs. [See Pliant, which is generally used.]

2. Yielding to request or desire; civil; obliging.

COMPLIANTLY, adv. In a yielding manner.